Gyani Surinder SinghMulticultural groups from South-East Queensland came together in mid-January to pray for relief from the bushfires that ravaged Australia. The multi faith prayer service organised at the Multicultural Hub, Annerley by the Fiji Senior Citizens Association of Queensland attracted about eighty people from Brisbane and surrounding towns.

In his opening address the event organiser Mr Surendra Prasad OAM recognised the devastation wrought upon individuals and communities through loss of lives, homes, properties, stock and wildlife. He also recognised the generosity of Australians who had donated funds, goods and their services for bushfire relief.

One minute’s silence was recognised for the individuals and firefighters who lost their lives fighting the bushfires.

Calamvale Ward Councillor Angela Owen delivered a message of sympathy and support on behalf of Brisbane’s Lord Mayor, Adrian Schrinner. Councillor Owen also thanked the donors of emergency toiletry packs who had assembled and sent more than 2,300 dignity packs for distribution to bushfire victims and firefighters in the East Gippsland district of Victoria.

A welcome to country and an initial prayer for all was delivered by aboriginal elder Aunty Peggy Tidyman. Further prayers were led by representatives of Christian, Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Baha’i and Buddhist groups.

The Federation of Indian Communities in Queensland was also represented by its executive committee members Srikar Reddy, Parminder Singh and Dr Venkat Pulla.

The event was chaired by Chinese community leader Mr Lewis Lee OAM, and a vote of thanks was delivered by Indonesian Welfare Committee representative, Mrs Vera Pottinger.